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Why Is Nissan Altima Cheap? [ Is This Reliable? Know Everything ]

Why Is Nissan Altima Cheap? [ Is This Reliable? Know Everything ]

The Nissan Altima happens to be the brand’s best-selling car in the US. The Altima can be an excellent pick for car owners looking for a reasonably dependable sedan for daily commuting. Nissan has been manufacturing this mid-sized car since 1992. Since 2005, the brand has sold 248,378 cars of this model on average.

Although there are better-performing cars like the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord out there in the market, you won’t find a model as inexpensive as the Nissan Altima. Now, a potential car owner might be wondering how these cars come so cheap, particularly the used ones. To bail you out of this dilemma, we have got this question covered in this article.

Why Nissan Altima cheap?

Nissan has been mass-manufacturing the Altimas, drastically bringing down the production cost. Naturally, with the cost of raw materials dropping significantly, they afford to sell these cars at lower tags. Besides, the first five years of ownership witness a depreciation in the value of these cars by 50%. No wonder, why you come across so many cheap used models around.

Let’s take a look at the relatively lower prices of the Nissan Altima.

1. Mass production

Nissan has strategically designed the marketing strategy of its Altima, that complements mass production. Around 33% of these cars make their way as fleet vehicles to car rental companies. Now, whenever one of these rental firms upgrades to the latest model, they sell off the used models in large numbers in the second-hand car market. This explains how they manage to give away too many used cars at a low price. The supply consistently remains more than the demand for these cars.

2. High depreciation rate

As Nissan Altimas hit the road, they depreciate at a more rapid rate than many other cars. Car Edge reports that Nissan Altimas depreciate as much as 53% in the first five years after purchase. This is too high when you compare the rate to similar cars. For instance, the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry depreciates by 42% and 46%, respectively during the same period. Mixed reliability ratings and oversupply in the market attribute to this dip in price. This explains why a used Altima comes so cheap!

3. Reliability concerns

Nissan Altima failed to maintain its consistency in quality and reliability between 2009 and 2013. Particularly, Nissan Altima 2013 emerged as the worst variant, and got 3.5 out of 5 in terms of reliability. Naturally, the brand had to compromise its credibility even after they addressed these concerns. Its competitors like the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord still have an edge over it in terms of reliability.

Is Nissan Altima a reliable car?

The Nissan Altima is a reliable car, but buyers need to be ready to deal with its problems too. As per US News, the Nissan Altima 2022 has a reliability score of 7.9/10. In the category of midsize cars, it finds its position in the 7th rank.

As a midsize sedan, the Altima is a good car, although you will come across better alternatives. The gas mileage is excellent, and the rides are comfortable. The infotainment controls are pretty simple, and five people can enjoy spacious seating arrangements in the car.

Mostly, the Nissan Altima wouldn’t disappoint buyers in terms of reliability. Before you go for a used car, watch out for the problematic years. Also, don’t overlook the mechanical inspection before settling with a second-hand model. Compared to the 4-cylinder cars, the V6 ones come with fewer glitches.

RepairPal states that Nissan Altima owners need to shell out around $483 annually for maintaining these cars. Considering the industry standards ($651) and similar models, this is pretty reasonable. The initial ten years of maintenance and service would involve a cost of around $5,561. During this period, there is a 16.43% probability that the Altima would have to undergo any major repair. This statistic reveals that Nissan Altimas are 5.07% superior to its competitors in terms of reliability.

While the average car involves an annual insurance cost of $1,427, you need to shell out $1,323 for your Nissan Altima. Considering the reasonable maintenance, repair, and insurance costs, this car proves to be a reliable pick.

Are Nissan Altimas bad cars?

Nissan Altimas are not bad cars. The manufacturers use cheaper materials to build these cars to ensure their affordability. However, when you compare Altimas to Toyotas, you would notice the inferior grade of materials in the former. However, Nissan has addressed this concern. The models that the brand produced 2017 onwards are of a better quality. Overall, the Altima is a comfortable and reliable car with a few exceptions.

However, buyers should be ready to deal with transmission and engine issues in certain year models. The owners have also reported some common technical glitches with these cars. These include:

  • Faulty seal in the engines
  • Gasket intake leakages
  • Failing camshaft
  • Malfunctioning fuel pump
  • Catalytic converter failure

However, the Altima can last over 200,000 miles with dedicated care and routine maintenance. Ultimately, the buyers need to take care of their longevity.

Is the Altima worth buying?

In terms of fuel economy and safety features, the Nissan Altima has maintained a decent profile. The sporty sedan comes with a stylish look that appeals to car enthusiasts. Affordable, roomy, and comfortable, the Nissan Altima often surprises potential owners with its low price. Most importantly, the Altima happens to be the first AWD from Nissan. Ideally, this car would suit families residing in snowy areas.

Compared to other models in the same category, the Altima finds itself in the middle-to-low end section. Besides, Nissan completely redesigned the car in 2019. Moreover, the manufacturer has customized the car across several trims to fit every budget. The NHTSA has given 5 stars (overall) to the model, considering its ability to cope up with frontal crash, rollover, and side crash. Considering these attributes, buying an Altima would be worth it.

Best year of Nisan Altima

The 2020 model happens to be the best, although it’s relatively new. has rated this model 4.8/5. The 2017 and 2019 models are also outstanding, considering all the parameters.

Before 2019, Nissan made a key redesign to the model back in 2013. So, you would find the last model of the previous generation in the 2018 cars. If you decide to settle with a used car, US News considers the 2016 model the right pick. The manufacturer had addressed transmission issues in this model, and integrated a refined exterior in the car.

Worst year of Nisan Altima

It would be advisable to avoid the Nissan Altima models that hit the road between 2009 and 2013. Apparently, 2013 happens to be the worst model year of the Altima. Many owners have complained of transmission control module failure in these cars, which triggers a transmission slippage. This was just after the brand made a major redesign to these cars. The 2013 model received a low reliability rating, gaining just 3.5 stars out of 5. Moreover, this model also had issues with the door lock and air conditioning.

Also, try avoiding the 2019 model, which troubled buyers with faulty locks in the electronic steering column.

Does Nissan Altimas Hold Their Value?

Nissan Altimas lose their value faster than the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord, two of its major competitors. While this might seem frustrating to new car owners, used car buyers would be glad to acquire these cars at relatively lower prices. Compared to its competitors, the Nissan Altima would cost you almost $3000 lower when you go for a used model.

The resale value of a Nissan Altima would come to around $12,518 in five years. The Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry would fetch you about $18,896 and $15,264, respectively after the same time period.

The average life of Nissan Altima

Taking the average lifeline of a Nissan Altima to be 200,000 miles, it is pretty impressive in terms of performance. Driving the car for 13.5K miles on average per year, you can expect it to serve you for 15 years. Make sure to follow up with the local dealership or branded stores for the routine maintenance. You can make the most of your Nissan Altima with controlled driving habits.


The Nissan Altima proves to be a mediocre family car in terms of pricing, depreciation, performance, comfort, and safety levels. Of course, buying a used model would be worth it if you are ready to maintain the car. As these used cars come relatively cheap, you would appreciate the long lifeline that they have on offering at moderate maintenance costs.